Delegates of the 2013 Spring Meeting voted today to elect Dr. Peter Landless, a physician and pastor, as director-elect of the Seventh-day Adventist world church’s Health Ministries department. Landless will replace current director Dr. Allan Handysides, who has announced he will retire in September.
Delegates also received the names of two nominees for other vacancies at the church’s headquarters in Silver Spring in the U.S. state of Maryland. They elected Jesse Johnson to fill a vacancy on the Adventist World Radio board. Johnson is currently president of netAserve, which provides technology support to the Adventist Church.
Kimberly Westfall will serve as associate director for quality control for the General Conference Auditing Service (GCAS). Westfall currently works as GCAS regional manager in the church’s North American Division territory. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is a certified public accountant.
Landless, who has served as an associate director for the church’s Health Ministries department since early 2002, has advocated for compassionate and comprehensive health ministry, urging each church to act as a health care center to the surrounding community. His career has spanned clinical practice, research, teaching and administration, both academically and in the Adventist Church. The South African native began practicing medicine in 1974. He has since completed specialties in family medicine, internal medicine and cardiology.
“It has been a pleasure to work with someone who has been a true friend and colleague,” Handysides said of Landless. “We’ve worked together as a team. I support [this nomination] with all my heart.”
Adventist world church President Ted N. C. Wilson said he was pleased that Landless not only brings a veteran career in medicine to the job, but also solid spiritual qualifications.
“[Peter] has functioned as a pastor and continues to provide pastoral guidance," Wilson said. "Any of you who know him know he has a deep concern and care for each of us.”
A formal tribute for Handysides is expected to take place in October at the church’s Annual Council biannual business session. Until then, Handysides and Landless will work alongside each other as co-directors.
Church officers will work closely with Landless to find a replacement for him, Wilson said, adding that they expect the new associate will share a similar passion for comprehensive health ministry.